BLACK VOICES

San Francisco Police Chief Pressured To Quit After Cops Shoot Black Man

Officers reportedly shot the 26-year-old man 21 times after he refused to drop a knife.
Mario Woods, 26, was fatally shot in an encounter with San Francisco police on Dec. 2.
Mario Woods, 26, was fatally shot in an encounter with San Francisco police on Dec. 2.

San Francisco protesters angered by the killing of a 26-year-old black man by police last week are demanding the ouster of the city's police chief and murder charges against the five cops who opened fire.  

Crowds chanted for the removal of Police Chief Greg Suhr during a contentious public meeting of the city's police commission in City Hall Wednesday night. Outrage over the police shooting of Mario Woods on Dec. 2 has been simmering thanks to several cell phone videos showing police confronting and ultimately shooting Woods. He was armed with a knife and was a suspect in a stabbing earlier that day. 

Suhr has claimed officers shot Woods after he made a threatening movement with the knife, though public radio station KQED analyzed the video and concluded that a gunshot can be heard before Woods raised his arm. Prior to the shooting, officers used pepper spray and beanbag rounds on Woods, but he clung to the knife despite being hit.

Woods was shot 21 times, according to the San Francisco Examiner.

Earlier this month, conflict in Chicago over the officer who fatally shot Laquan McDonald led to the firing of that city's police chief, Garry McCarthy. 

Faced by a series of protests and vigils over Woods, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee has told police to resolve confrontations with the "minimum use of force."

Suhr also called for his officers to be equipped with Tasers so they have a less lethal weapon to confront some suspects.

Protesters, including members of Woods' family, want the five officers who fired charged with murder. The cops' names haven't been released. 

Woods' family also wants the city to pay for his funeral, according to a cousin who spoke to NBC Bay Area.

The San Francisco Police Department could not immediately be reached for comment.

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